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Jail Support Continues for Weekend WTO Protests
by sicktodeath
Wednesday Nov 14th, 2001 7:04 PM
Updated information about jail support for those arrested during WTO protests in San Francisco and Richmond.
<font size="+1">Jail Support Continues for Weekend WTO Protests</font>
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<img src="http://www.indybay.org/imcenter/officersweeneyrichmondpd149.jpg" width="200" height="167" border="0" alt="officer sweeney" align="right">November 14 - Legal support for those arrested during anti-WTO actions this weekend in the San Francisco Bay Area is continuing. During anti-WTO actions on Friday in San Francisco, 18 people were arrested. And in Richmond on Saturday, 6 people were arrested.
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Out of 18 people arrested in San Francisco on Friday, 16 have been released, all charges dropped. One of those arrested is a "Jane Doe" to the legal support team and her status is unknown. The remaining person is being charged with two felonies (felony possession of a dangerous weapon, possession of a slingshot) and two misdemeanors (possession of a dangerous weapon, possession of a drill with intent to vandalize). This person is being arraigned on Friday morning, 9am, at the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant. Supporters are requesting that people come out and show solidarity at this hearing.
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On Saturday, an aggressive response by Richmond PD during a protest at the Chevron facility is spurring on a police misconduct lawsuit. Officer Sweeney, #149, was extremely aggressive against peaceful protesters who were not breaking any laws. Several eyewitnesses have said that at one point, Ofc Sweeney threatened to use his gun on non-violent demonstrators. Six people were arrested. Ryan S., who was arrested and allegedly beaten by Ofc Sweeney and originally held on $50,000 bail, has been released with charges dropped (lynching and battery on a police officer). The other five are being charged with "remaining at the scene of a riot," but will not be arraigned until January 3, 2002. One of the other five is being charged with misdemeanor vandalism.
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"[Ofc Sweeney] arrived on the scene and immediately hit someone who was taking a picture, saying 'get that camera out of my fucking face,'" said Jim Erbanks, one eyewitness. "He continued to shove people, pepper spray people. If that's how he acts in broad daylight with a million witnesses and video cameras, how does he act on his beat with no one watching?"
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Since the only people being physically aggressive against others were the Richmond police, one can only assume that the "riot" was a "police riot." The video from numerous independent videographers has contradicted many of the charges and statements of the Richmond PD. Some of the Richmond police offers were sympathetic to the protesters. One African-American police officer felt uncomfortable, and said he knew that he was defending "murderers" at the Chevron corporation.
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Legal defense is being organized through the Midnight Special Law Collective, who can be reached at (510) 834-1883. Anyone who can provide video or testimony about Officer Sweeney (#149) or other actions of the Richmond PD should contact Larry Hildes at (510) 845-9788.
by Gabriel
Friday Nov 16th, 2001 1:08 PM
I agree.

Everyone who has video or information should contact these guys ASAP. This "officer" Sweeney should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and should be suspended from the force until further notice. Assholes like this give a bad name to the police department. They abuse the law and then excuse themselves by posing as victims acting on self-defense.

It is good to have many "white" middle-class college activists for they most likely have better legal resources and contacts to fight with. College students in general are very educated and they know the law.

-G

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